This Day In Texas History - September 15

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This Day In Texas History - September 15

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Post by joe817 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:32 am

1763 - Athanase de Mézières y Clugny, the son of Louis Christophe de Mézières and Marie Antoinette Clugny, was born to nobility in Paris.. His career as an infantryman in Louisiana began in the early 1730s. Over the next thirty years he served as ensign, lieutenant, and captain. In the 1740s he was assigned to the French outpost at Natchitoches, where in 1746 he married Marie Petronille Feliciane de St. Denis, the daughter of Louis Juchereau and Manuela Sánchez Navarro de St. Denis. This brief marriage ended when Marie died in childbirth in 1747, and Mézières later married Pelagie Fazende. On September 15, 1763, shortly after Louisiana had passed from French to Spanish control, he was discharged from the infantry.

Like many Frenchmen in Louisiana, he offered his services to Spain, and in late 1769 Alejandro O'Reilly appointed him as lieutenant governor of Natchitoches. Mézières, skilled in Latin, French, and Spanish as well as in several Indian languages, embarked on an extraordinary career as Spanish agent to the Indians of northern Texas.

In 1770 he carried out the first of several expeditions to the Red River, and in the following year he successfully negotiated treaties with the Kichais, Tawakonis, and Taovayas, and by their proxy, with the Tonkawas. In 1778 Bernardo de Gálvez, governor of Louisiana, released Mézières for additional services in Texas, where he was to forge an alliance among the Spanish, Comanches, and Norteños against the Apaches. To this end Mézières traveled extensively over the course of a year-to the new town of Bucareli, to the Red River, and even to New Orleans.

En route between Los Adaes and Nacogdoches, he suffered a serious head injury when thrown from his horse. After convalescence, he continued on to San Antonio, where he arrived in September 1779. In the capital he learned of his appointment as governor of Texas. But Mézières, some sixty years of age, remained gravely ill and did not assume office. He had one child by his first wife and eight by his second. He died at San Antonio on November 2, 1779, having never fully recovered from being unhorsed, and the proposed general alliance with the Comanches and Norteños was never realized.

1829 - The Guerrero Decree, which abolished slavery throughout the Republic of Mexico except in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, was issued by President Vicente R. Guerrero on September 15, 1829. Guerrero may have acted under the influence of José María Tornel, who hoped the decree would be a check on American immigration, or he may have issued it as a personal measure because his enemies accused him of being partly of African descent.

The decree reached Texas on October 16, but Ramón Músquiz, the political chief, withheld its publication because it was in violation of the colonization laws, which guaranteed the settlers security for their persons and property. The news of the decree did alarm the Texans, who petitioned Guerrero to exempt Texas from the operation of the law. On December 2 Agustín Viesca, secretary of relations, wrote the governor of Texas that no change would be made respecting the slaves in Texas. Though the decree was never put into operation, it left a conviction in the minds of many Texas colonists that their interests were not safe.

1840 - The diplomatic history of Texas began late in 1835 with the appointment of Stephen F. Austin, Branch T. Archer, and William H. Wharton as commissioners to the United States to get help to carry on the Texas Revolution. After the battle of San Jacinto and the establishment of constitutional government, the people of Texas voted by a large majority to seek annexation to the United States of America. President Sam Houston chose Wharton to take charge of negotiations. Meeting with congressmen, holding conferences with John Forsyth, secretary of state, and calling on President Andrew Jackson, Wharton finally secured the recognition of Texas independence.

On March 3, 1837, Jackson appointed Alcée La Brancheas chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas. Recognition attained, Wharton withdrew, leaving Memucan Hunt to carry on. Given broad diplomatic powers, he negotiated with the governments of England, Netherlands, and Belgium, and his loan activities brought him in contact with influential men of many countries.

His first success was in Holland, where on September 15, 1840, a treaty of commerce was signed. In London he drew up three treaties: one of commerce and navigation, a second providing for British mediation in the Texas-Mexico difficulties concerning peace, and a third calling for the suppression of slave trade. (Note: The successes of recognition of Texas as an independent nation to the rest of the world was an arduous one There is MUCH more to this story): [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mgd01 ]

1849 - Camp San Elizario was on the Rio Grande twenty-one miles below El Paso in El Paso County, at the site of San Elizario Presidio, which had been established there in 1773. On September 15, 1849, the post was occupied by companies I and K of the Third United States Infantry. In 1862 it was occupied by the California Volunteers, or the California Column, which had moved eastward to prevent invasion of California by Confederate troops.

1858 - The Butterfield (or Southern) Overland Mail, which operated from September 15, 1858, until March 1, 1861, was a semiweekly mail and passenger stage service from St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, across northern Texas to San Francisco, California. The routes from the two eastern termini united at Fort Smith, Arkansas. From St. Louis to San Francisco the distance was 2,795 miles, probably the longest route of any system using horse-drawn conveyances in the history of the United States.

As of 1858 the route extended from San Francisco to Los Angeles, thence by Fort Yuma, California, and Tucson, Arizona, to Franklin, Texas (present El Paso). The mails went through almost without exception in the twenty-five days allowed. The postage rate of ten cents per half ounce resulted in receipts in 1860 of $119,766.77. Early in 1859 Sherman was made a distribution point, through which Texas settlements were given postal service. In addition to mail and express the Concord coaches had room for five or six passengers, and at times more were crowded in.

The fare averaged $200 one-way. Passengers, with firearms ready to meet attacks by Indians, generally endured the ordeal of the trip without rest; for if a traveler laid over, he forfeited his seat, and he might be marooned for a month before he could secure another. Stage service on the southern route was terminated in March 1861, when an agreement was made to modify the contract and move the route northward out of Texas.
(Note: The article gives a very accurate detailed description of the route of travel through Texas and all of their way points; well worth reading)
[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/egb01 ]

1891 - The Garza War was an abortive effort in 1891–92 to organize a Texas-based revolution against the Mexican regime of Porfirio Díaz. Catarino E. Garza was a Mexican journalist living in Texas who had for many years launched editorial attacks against Díaz. Garza and his allies recognized no official border, considered themselves Mexicans, and were active in the internal politics of Mexico.

On February 3, 1891, Garza's friend and fellow Díaz opponent Ignacio Martínez was killed by Díaz agents on the streets of Laredo. Martínez's assassination, combined with his own experiences with the regime, convinced Garza that he had to take up arms to defeat Díaz. Using Palito Blanco as his intelligence center, Garza reputedly organized a force of revolutionaries in 1891 to invade Mexico.

On September 15, 1891, he led a group of twenty-six armed men across the Rio Grande at Mier, Tamaulipas, and proclaimed the "Plan Revolucionario." The revolutionaries returned to Texas after nine days and a brief engagement with Mexican forces. Over the following months, the Garcistas made at least two more incursions into Mexico. According to Garza's own records, by the end of 1891 his army had 63 commanders, 186 officers, and 1,043 soldiers.

Reacting swiftly, the Mexican government sent to the border Gen. Lorenzo García, who so brutally suppressed anti-Díaz dissent that his cruelties caused a pro-Garza reaction in Texas. Fearing border war, influential Texans urged South Texans to remain neutral and petitioned the governor for special rangers to drive out Garcistas.

By December 1891 United States Army troops had been sent to patrol the border; one short skirmish occurred, at Retamal Springs. The army generally was ineffective, but Garcistas soon left the area as newly appointed special rangers proved effective and potential recruits opted for neutrality. In 1892 Garza reportedly learned that he was wanted by the special rangers and fled Texas.

1896 - A plaque fifteen miles north of Waco in McLennan County marks the site of the "Crash at Crush." On September 15, 1896, more than 40,000 people flocked to this spot to witness one of the most spectacular publicity stunts of the nineteenth century-a planned train wreck. The man behind this unusual event was William George Crush, passenger agent for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad.

In 1895 Crush proposed to Katy officials that the company stage a train wreck as an attraction; he planned to advertise the event months in advance, sell tickets to transport spectators to and from the site on Katy trains, and then run two old locomotives head-on into each other. The officials agreed. Throughout the summer of 1896 bulletins and circulars advertising the "Monster Crash" were distributed throughout Texas.

Many newspapers in Texas ran daily reports on the preparations, and some papers outside the state carried the story. As Crush had predicted, the Katy offices were flooded with ticket requests. The engines, Old No. 999, painted a bright green, and No. 1001, painted a brilliant red, were displayed in towns throughout the state. Thousands turned out to look at them. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/llc01 ]

1918 - David E. Hayden, Medal of Honor recipient, was born at Florence, Texas, and entered the military service in Texas. As a hospital apprentice first class, United States Navy, he was with the Second Battalion, Sixth Regiment, United States Marines, at Thiaucourt, France, on September 15, 1918, when his corporal was mortally wounded during an advance. Hayden ran to Corporal Creed's assistance and, finding that he required immediate aid, dressed his wounds under intense machine-gun fire. Then, still under enemy fire, he carried the wounded man back to a place of safety. Hayden died at Fresno, California, on March 18, 1974.

1942 - Camp Maxey, a World War II infantry-training camp ten miles north of Paris, Texas, was named in honor of Samuel Bell Maxey. It was activated on July 15, 1942, under command of Col. C. H. Palmer. The first division to be trained at the camp, the 102d Infantry Division, was organized and activated on September 15, 1942, under Gen. John B. Anderson.

In addition to the army ground forces trained at Camp Maxey, army service forces and army air forces had a part in the development of camp activities. The varied terrain provided facilities for working out problems of infantry training to meet modern battle conditions. An artillery range, obstacle course, infiltration course, and "German Village" were included in training maneuvers.

Troop capacity was 44,931. German prisoners of war were also held at the military reservation. The camp was put on an inactive status on October 1, 1945. Afterward, the installation served as a training center for the Texas National Guard, and most of the original buildings were demolished or sold and removed; in 1990 the camp sewage-treatment plant was used by the city of Paris. When Pat Mayse Lake was constructed in 1965–67, parts of the northern edge of the base were inundated.

1946 - Amarillo Air Force Base, originally Amarillo Army Air Field, was activated in April 1942 and formally named an army air field in May. It was eleven miles east of Amarillo on a 1,523-acre tract of land adjacent to English Field, a commercial airfield serving the Panhandle. The field, one of the largest installations in the Western Technical Training Command, was established for training of air crew and ground mechanics to service B-17 aircraft.

From 1943 to 1945 basic training and special courses of instruction were conducted, and the school was later designated to train technicians for B-29 aircraft in addition to the B-17 technical training. Flying operations were also inaugurated. The field was closed on September 15, 1946, and its buildings were converted to peacetime uses or destroyed.[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qba01 ]

1969 - Texas physicians and scientists made numerous contributions to the field of human heart transplantation as it evolved from preliminary experimentation to an accepted orthodox therapy for patients with end-stage cardiac disease. Two Houston surgeons, Michael E. DeBakey and Denton Cooley, have been in the forefront in developing heart surgery and heart transplantation.

On September 15, 1969, Cooley performed the first heart and lung transplant to the same patient. His two-month-old patient lived only fourteen hours, and died of respiratory insufficiency. Although cardiac transplantation was technically possible in the late 1960s, it had limited therapeutic success. Initially, patients seemed to do well following the transplantation, but within a short period the recipient's body would reject the donor's heart. DeBakey and Cooley reported that sixty of the first 100 heart transplant recipients died by the eighth day following surgery. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/sdh01 ]
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